Well, that escalated quickly! Justin and I have been applying for jobs at International schools around the world since October. We applied to over 30 schools and we were fortunate enough to land quite a few interviews from schools in Indonisia, Dubai, Mozambique, Jordan, and Tunisia. Today is December 20th, and I am sitting here with contract signed, news shared, and a feeling of nerves and excitement. I can’t believe this happened so fast!
A couple Sundays ago, we received offers from 2 schools, and here’s the kicker- we had 48 hours to make our decision! I went into full-blown panic mode, making pro/con lists, pacing the floor, researching, and reaching out to family for advice. 48 hours is not enough time to make a life-altering decision like this! It was between Amman, Jordan and Tunis, Tunisia. I really clicked with the people in Amman, and they offered me a job teaching art which was my preference. Tunisia was offering a 5th Grade classroom position and the area was beautiful. The money and benefits were great in both locations. Both schools are well-established, top-rate places to teach. I went back and forth in my mind a hundred times.
On Sunday afternoon, we Skyped with a couple currently teaching at The American Cooperative School of Tunis. It was their first international gig and they moved from the States a couple of years ago. I had a million questions for them- Do your kids like the food? Do we need a car? How often do you take vacations? Do you like your principal? What’s the school schedule like? What do you do for fun? Do you feel safe? What’s the best neighborhood? What do you wish you would have known before you made this decision? The list goes on and on… We talked for an hour and after our conversation, I started feeling pulled towards Tunisia.
Going to bed Sunday night, I still didn’t feel certain, but I knew I would get there. I felt relaxed and I was ready for a good night’s sleep. I hoped I would have an epiphany in the middle of the night or maybe a dream that would speak to me about the right choice, but it wasn’t like that. Instead it felt like a cloud of dust had been kicked up Sunday morning and as time passed, and as the dust slowly drifted away, my vision became a little more clear. By Monday night, I knew my answer. Justin suggested we count to 3 and then both say what we are thinking at the same time. 1…2….3…. “Tunisia,” we said in unison. It just felt right. And that’s how it was for us. Not a logical decision, breaking down savings and researching every aspect of the school. It was something I just had to feel. We technically had until Tuesday to reply to our offers, but we had already made up our minds. We hugged. We wrote an email to the Superintendent at the Tunisian school and we called our parents and told our kids.
In August, we will teach at The American Cooperative School of Tunis and our kids will attend as well. We have 8 months left in Kansas to enjoy time with the friends and family we will miss so dearly, sell our house and most of our belongings, and mentally prepare for this big move.